Chiro Cervical Adjustment

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Chiropractic Cervical Adjustment Cervical adjustment (also known as neck manipulation) is a precise procedure, generally applied by hand, to the joints of the neck and is beneficial for the treatment of headache and neck pain. Cervical adjustment works to improve joint mobility in the neck restoring range of motion, and reducing muscle hypertonicity thereby relieving pressure and tension. 1 Patients typically notice a reduction of pain, soreness, stiffness and improved mobility. All health care interventions carry risks of varying significance and incidence. Cervical adjustment, particularly of the C1 and C2 vertebrae, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-like symptoms. Two primary types of research have been conducted into this association: retrospective and progressive case series studies; and biomechanical research into the kinetics of cervical adjustment. Recent Findings The findings in the existing, published literature indicate that serious adverse events associated with cervical adjustment are very rare. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million cervical adjustments is generally considered to be a conservative risk ratio by the research community. This association is typically characterized by dissection of the vertebral artery extracranially on the side of the neck which was adjusted, accompanied by the onset of acute neck pain and neurological symptoms immediately or within hours. An extensive commentary on chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the following with regard to the safety of cervical adjustment: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events has made it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has been noted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date.” 2 Similarly, a Canadian study, published in 2001 in Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated with cervical adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio. 3 The study authors have stated: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with chiropractic manipulation of the neck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associated with many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs.” Page 1 of 3 1 See Appendix of Research References 2 Meeker WC, Haldeman S. Chiropractic: A profession at the crossroads of mainstream and alternative medicine. Annals of Internal Medicine February 5, 2002, Vol. 136, No. 3. 3 Rothwell DM, Bondy SJ, Williams JI. Chiropractic manipulation and stroke: A population-based, case-controlled study. Stroke May 2001.

Transcript of Chiro Cervical Adjustment

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Chiropractic Cervical Adjustment

Cervical adjustment (also known as neck manipulation) is a precise procedure, generally applied by hand,to the joints of the neck and is beneficial for the treatment of headache and neck pain. Cervicaladjustment works to improve joint mobility in the neck restoring range of motion, and reducing musclehypertonicity thereby relieving pressure and tension.1 Patients typically notice a reduction of pain,soreness, stiffness and improved mobility.

All health care interventions carry risks of varying significance and incidence. Cervical adjustment,particularly of the C1 and C2 vertebrae, has on rare occasions been associated with stroke and stroke-likesymptoms. Two primary types of research have been conducted into this association: retrospective andprogressive case series studies; and biomechanical research into the kinetics of cervical adjustment.

Recent FindingsThe findings in the existing, published literature indicate that serious adverse events associated withcervical adjustment are very rare. While estimates vary, a range of one to two events per million cervicaladjustments is generally considered to be a conservative risk ratio by the research community. Thisassociation is typically characterized by dissection of the vertebral artery extracranially on the side of theneck which was adjusted, accompanied by the onset of acute neck pain and neurological symptomsimmediately or within hours.

An extensive commentary on chiropractic care, published in the February 2002 issue of the Annals ofInternal Medicine reviewed more than 160 reports and studies on chiropractic. It states the followingwith regard to the safety of cervical adjustment: “The apparent rarity of these accidental events hasmade it difficult to assess the magnitude of the complication risk. No serious complication has beennoted in more than 73 controlled clinical trials or in any prospectively evaluated case series to date.” 2

Similarly, a Canadian study, published in 2001 in Stroke, also concluded that stroke associated withcervical adjustment is so rare that it is difficult to calculate an accurate risk ratio.3 The study authorshave stated: “The evidence to date indicates that the risk associated with chiropractic manipulation of theneck is both small and inaccurately estimated. The estimated level of risk is smaller than that associatedwith many commonly used diagnostic tests or prescription drugs.”

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1See Appendix of Research References2Meeker WC, Haldeman S. Chiropractic: A profession at the crossroads of mainstream and alternative medicine. Annals of Internal MedicineFebruary 5, 2002, Vol. 136, No. 3.3Rothwell DM, Bondy SJ, Williams JI. Chiropractic manipulation and stroke: A population-based, case-controlled study. Stroke May 2001.

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The most recent research into the association between cervical adjustment and stroke involvesbiomechanical studies to assess what strain, if any, cervical adjustment may place on the vertebralarteries. The preliminary findings of this ongoing work indicate that cervical adjustment is done wellwithin the normal range of motion and that cervical adjustment is “very unlikely to mechanically disruptthe VA [vertebral artery].”4

Informed ConsentLike all health professionals, chiropractors are required by law to obtain informed consent to treatmentfrom their patients. The chiropractic profession takes this responsibility very seriously and has been aleader in obtaining informed consent to in-office treatment, examination and treatment procedures.

Ongoing ResearchChiropractic researchers are actively involved in studying the benefits and risks of manipulation in thetreatment of neck and back pain through clinical trials and literature reviews, and by publishing theresults. For example, the World Health Organization Task Force on Neck Pain and its AssociatedDisorders is an international, multi-disciplinary, multi-centre study in which the Canadian chiropracticprofession is a partner. This is one example of the ongoing research that will ensure that care is providedas effectively and safely as possible.

For further information, please direct enquiries to:Howard Vernon D.C., PhD.Director, Centre for the Study of the Cervical SpineCanadian Memorial Chiropractic College(416) 482-2340

Appendix of Research ReferencesHurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adams AH, Meeker WC, Shekelle PG. The appropriateness of manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine: Asystematic review of the literature. Spine 1996; 21(15); 1746-1760.

Dabbs V, Lauretti WJ. A risk assessment of cervical manipulation v. NSAIDs for the treatment of neck pain. Journal of Manipulative andPhysiological Therapeutics 1995; 18:530-6.

Spitzer WO, Skovron ML et al. Scientific monograph of the Quebec Task Force on Whiplash-associated Disorder: Redefining whiplash and itsmanagement. Spine 1995; 20:8S.

Coulter ID, Hurwitz EL et al. The appropriateness of manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine. Santa Monica, California: RAND.Document No. MR-781-CR.

Hurwitz EL, Aker PD et al. Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine: a systematic review of the literature. Spine 1996; 21:1746-60.

Aker PD, Gross AR et al. Conservative management of mechanical neck pain: Systematic overview and meta-analysis. Br Med J 1996;313:1291-6.

Whittingham W, Nilsson N. Active range of motion in the cervical spine increases after spinal manipulation. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001;24(9):552-5.

Bronfort G, Evans R et al. A randomized clinical trial of exercise and spinal manipulation for patients with chronic neck pain. Spine 2001;26(7):788-800.

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4Herzog W, Symons BP, Leonard T. Internal forces sustained by the vertebral artery during spinal manipulative therapy. Journal ofManipulative Physiologics and Therapeutics October 25, 2002 (8): 504-10.

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Hoving JL, Koes BW et al. Manual therapy, physical therapy, or continued care by a general practitioner for patients with neck pain. Annals IntMed 2002;136:713-22.

Evans R, Bronfort G, Nelson B, Goldsmith CH. Two-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial of spinal manipulation and two types ofexercise for patients with chronic neck pain. Spine 2002; 27(21):2383-9.

Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H, Harber P, Kominski GF et al. A randomized trial of chiropractic manipulation and mobilization for patients withneck pain: clinical outcomes from the UCLA neck-pain study. Am J Public Health 2002; 92(10):1634-41.

Giles LG, Muller R. Chronic spinal pain syndromes: a clinical pilot trial comparing acupuncture, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, andspinal manipulation. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999; 22(6):376-81.

Jordan A, Bendix T, Nielsen H, Hansen FR. et al. Intensive training, physiotherapy, or manipulation for patients with chronic neck pain. Aprospective, single-blinded, randomized clinical trial. Spine 1998; 23(3):311-8.

Vernon H, McDermaid C, Hagino C. Systematic review of complementary/alternative therapies for tension-type and cervicogenic headaches.Comp Therap Med 1999.

Nelson CF, Bronfort G, Evans R et al. The efficacy of spinal manipulation, amitriptyline and the combination of both therapies for theprophylaxis of migraine headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1998; 21(8):511-9.

Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. J Manipulative PhysiolTher 2000; 23(2):91-95.

McCrory DC, Penzien DB et al. Evidence report: behavioural and physical treatments for tension-type and cervicogenic headache. Des Moines,Iowa. Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research Product No. 2085, 2001.

Bronfort G, Assendelft WJ, Evans R et al. Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative PhysiolTher 2001; 24(7):457-66.

Jull G, Trott P, Potter H et al. A randomized controlled trial of exercise and manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache. Spine 2002;27(17):1835-1843.

February 2004

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